Commission draws up roadmap for potential changes
The city Charter Review Commission has homed in on its goals.
The group of 15 appointed citizens identified the goals on Tuesday evening after gathering a range of perspectives on how city government functions under the current charter. The commission is also anticipating the results of a survey that asks officials and community leaders about their willingness to run for office.
“Our goal at the outset was to make Saratoga Springs even better by designing the best possible city charter to meet the needs of citizens,” said Bob Turner, commission chairman. “Changing a charter is not something to be done lightly.”
The commission identified criteria for evaluating potential changes to the charter. These criteria are the important values that are widely shared in our community and will form a checklist for considering changes.
Goals include promotion of:
Accountability and public representation.
High-quality, efficient services and infrastructure.
Economic development and sustainability.
Long-term planning, investment.
Recruitment and training of a diverse, inclusive workforce.
Ethical and professional behavior among city employees and leader.
“These goals will be our road map going forward,” Turner said. “We want a city government that listens to citizens, encourages them to participate and where anyone can run for office. We also want the city to be innovative and nimble when it comes to services and long-term growth.”
At its next meeting on Monday the commission expects to hear results of its civic leadership survey on the willingness to run for office under the current commission form of government. Hundreds of surveys were shared with land-use boards, Leadership Saratoga and key city stakeholders. The results are anonymous.
“The purpose of the survey is to get an accurate snapshot on whether our current form of government promotes a wide range of candidates and encourages public service,” said Pat Kane, commission vice chair.
In addition to revisions to the current charter, the commission is considering other forms of government, including the council-manager and strong mayor-council.
A recording of the November 29 meeting can be viewed at this link: http://bit.ly/2fQJJt9.
The commission welcomes citizen feedback through its email address: saratogaspringscharte